8 Tips for the Stressed 20-Somethings

By: Gabrielle Muniz

Being an adult sounded way cooler as a kid, right?  Now, the most exciting aspect of your day might be taking a nap or eating comfort food.  When you find that stress really takes a hold of you, there are some ways to get yourself back in a positive place again. If your problems persist and really hinder your lifestyle, definitely contact a professional. In the meantime, here are some tips to combat those ordinary stressors in your life.

1. Practice Meditation

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That’s right: find your happy place. Meditation is a great tool to keep your mind in the present and to calm down with deep breathing. Stress brings you to the past and future with all of the terrible memories and possibilities. With meditation, you can train your mind to stay right in the present. Try looking up meditation videos that can guide you through the process and find what’s best for you so that you’re ready when the stress hits.

2. Try Journaling

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Some people feel better when they can get their stress off of their chests. By keeping a notebook handy, you can devote time to jotting down what gets you stressed. Make sure that you’re in a cozy, safe place to let your emotions out. Putting your thoughts down in a book, closing the book, and putting it away gives you the feeling that you can put these worries aside for now. This is especially good for around the time that you go to sleep, as worries can come up more strongly during a relaxed state.

3. Avoid Generalizations and “What ifs”

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If you find yourself stressed at work, you might say something like this: “I am always stressed at work,” or “what if I work is a nightmare tomorrow?” This sets yourself up for failure because you’re setting an expectation for yourself to be stressed at work. Try to think of times when you were happy at work, such as when you talk to friends or enjoy your lunch. This disproves the idea that you are “always” stressed at work, so it is less likely to happen than you think. You can even try to picture a stop sign in your mind when you find yourself obsessing about stress. Eventually, you will train your mind to think of more positive things when you are in a stressful environment.

4. Give Yourself Enjoyable Tasks

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When you’re smack dab in the middle of a panic attack or stress episode, it’s time to pour your energy into something that you love. Whether you like crafts, video games, writing, or sports, you should do something that will keep your attention off of stress. Some of the best solutions come from doing nothing because some problems just can’t be fixed right now. When you start obsessing over something that you can’t change, you need to remind yourself of the things that you love about life, such as your favorite hobby.

5. Reward Yourself for Getting Through the Day

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Each day can take its toll when your mind is running a million miles a minute. Stress can be incredibly exhausting, especially if you experience a racing heart, insomnia, eating problems, or depression along with it. So, end your day with your favorite movie, activity, or healthy treat when things get pretty bad. This will give you the positive reinforcement that you need to take pressure off of yourself. Honestly, you need to become your own best friend and cheerleader with all that you go through.

6. Be Patient and Love Yourself

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Not everyone is the same, so not everyone can function in the world the same way. Don’t envy people your age who can take on three jobs, get engaged, or get straight A’s if these are some things that stress you out. Stress is no joke, it can be quite debilitating, and achieving anything while having anxiety should be applauded because it can take a hold of your life. Be proud of what you can do because it just proves that stress is not winning.

7. Accept the Stress and Challenge It

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It may sound counterproductive, but some of the best relief from stress comes from accepting it. If you constantly avoid, ignore, or repress your anxieties, they can just come out in other aspects of your life. By facing your stressors, you can acknowledge that they have these effects on you, validate your feelings, and then find the strength to let them go.

8. Find Ways to Boost Your Confidence

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Most anxiety stems from a lack of self trust. The world is much scarier when you don’t trust your own mind to face it, so becoming confident can easily combat this. Reflect on your personal achievements and pat yourself on the back. Even if you look nice one day, validate this by telling yourself so. Buy yourself some new clothes, beat your latest video game record, or brag about your grades to your family to show yourself that you’re worth some applause. There’s nothing wrong with loving who you are and loving yourself is the most important tool against stress.

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